National Express appoints new chief executive

National Express, the troubled bus and train operator, has appointed Dean Finch, the current head of the Tube Lines consortium that maintains half of London’s Underground, as its new chief executive.

National Express

Finch will take up his new role in early spring next year, replacing Richard Bowker who quit in the summer as the company’s debts mounted and revenue slowed.

Earlier this year, the group was forced to hand back its East Coast Main Line rail franchise to the Government because it could not afford the annual franchise payments. It has also been told to terminate of its East Anglia franchise by early 2011 and its sole remaining rail franchise c2c expires in May 2011.

John Devaney, executive chairman of National Express, says: “I am delighted to welcome Dean to National Express. His extensive experience of the transport sector, in Europe and North America as well as the UK makes him uniquely qualified to run a business of this scope and scale.

“He has a proven track record of improving operational performance and delivering financial success in bus, coach and rail businesses.

Finch adds: “I am looking forward to strengthening all parts of the group, fostering a culture of operational excellence enabling us to deliver real shareholder value.”

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